Marriage equality on the move

Developments in California and New York suggest that the nation’s largest states are moving much faster than the Episcopal Church in recognizing the legitimacy of same-sex relationships.

The Sacramento Bee reports on a recent Field Poll:

Signaling a generational shift in attitudes, a new Field Poll on Tuesday said California voters now support legal marriage between same-sex couples and oppose a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

By 51 to 42 percent, state voters believe gay couples have the right to marry, according to a May 17-26 poll of 1,052 registered voters.

However, the same poll revealed a California electorate that remains sharply divided over gay marriage – split by age, political affiliation, religion and the regions where they live.

In San Luis Obispo, gay couples are queing up to get married on June 17, the first day such marriages will be performed.

And across the continent, the state of New York is preparing to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

Updated: the California campaign to pass a constitutional amendment against gay marriage is going to be expensive, and will involve a familiar figure, Howard Ahmanson, who thinks it is okay to stone homosexuals.

On the anti-same-sex marriage side, the donors are led by a pair of wealthy Southern California businessmen who are also evangelical Christians. Fieldstead & Co., the company owned by billionaire financier Howard Ahmanson, gave $400,000 in February and March to the committee behind The California Marriage Protection Act. Christian radio magnate Ed Atsinger has donated $12,500. Both live in Southern California. Each man gave $100,000 to back Prop. 22 in 2000.

Just to refresh memories, here is how Ahmanson explained his views on homosexuality to the Orange County Register in August 2004:

“I think what upsets people is that [his one-time spiritual leader, the Christian reconstructionist John] Rushdoony seemed to think–and I’m not sure about this–that a godly society would stone people for the same thing that people in ancient Israel were stoned. I no longer consider that essential.”

However, he added:

“It would still be a little hard to say that if one stumbled on a country that was doing that, that it is inherently immoral, to stone people for these things. “But I don’t think it’s at all a necessity.”

There you have it, the brutal murder of homosexuals isn’t essential, but it isn’t inherently immoral.

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